The Bean-to-Bar Process
The cocoa beans arrive in 50 -70 kg jute sacks. My first job is to sort the the beans by hand and remove any damaged beans.
The beans are roasted at low temperatures to retain their flavour profile, then quickly cooled.
BREAKING & WINNOWING
After six hours the beans are cooled, then I crack the cocoa beans in a Crankenstein mill.
The husk (the hard outer shell) and nibs are fed through a winnower that separates the majority of the husks. The nibs are then put through a sieve where I remove by hand any remaining husks and any poor quality or under-fermented nibs.
GRINDING & CONCHING
The nibs are ground down to a uniform size in small batches before they are put in the melange, a machine with a granite base and wheels that break down the cocoa beans. This process takes 48 hours with sugar and a small amount of cocoa butter.
When the chocolate is ready it is poured into a large block mould, labelled and left to rest for 28 days.
The chocolate is then tempered by warming it to a precise temperature and then cooling it, which helps to produce a smooth glossy finish and a satisfying snap.
Finally the chocolate is poured into moulds and once set wrapped by hand.